By Sohan Modgil
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Additional resources for B.F. Skinner: Consensus And Controversy: Controversy & Consensus (Falmer International Master-Minds Challenged, Vol 5)
However, the reader should be aware that the expression ‘radical behaviorism’ has been used among professional philosophers. In general, philosophical usage of ‘radical behaviorism’ has meant a form of behaviorism that is extreme in some way. For example, psychological views whereby consciousness was said not even to exist might be regarded as ‘radical behaviorism’ in some sense. It is difficult for psychologists to feel comfortable with the intra-verbal, professional, and intellectual context within which philosophical discussions of behaviorism take place.
I read as many of these articles as I could get with reasonable convenience, trying to see what the author appeared to mean by ‘radical behaviorism’. For 1950–84 I found twenty-eight articles whose topic description in the subject matter index contained the expression ‘radical behaviorism’. Figure 1 shows the frequency of such articles as a function of fiveyear periods. It is clear from this figure that the frequency of topic descriptions containing the expression ‘radical behaviorism’ has been rising steadily in recent years.
Its weakness is the restriction of possible physical processes to classical Greek or eighteenth-century Newtonian models. 22 WHAT IS RADICAL BEHAVIORISM ? The second position can be called, in philosophy, phenomenological positivism, as in Mach’s Analysis of Sensations, and in psychology, a general Gestalt position…. (Wolman, 1977, p. 159) Here, again, we find a contrast drawn, as in quotation (A) above, between the way in which a particular conception is expressed between philosophical and psychological professional verbal communities.
B.F. Skinner: Consensus And Controversy: Controversy & Consensus (Falmer International Master-Minds Challenged, Vol 5) by Sohan Modgil